Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the United States Lesson Plan
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
About this book
Subject Area: Language Arts, Social Studies
Keenan provides a concise look at more than 250 leading women who have shaped our world, from political activists to poets.
To learn about the changing roles and perspectives of women in the United States
Standard: Student reflects on what has been learned after reading and formulates ideas, opinions, and personal responses to text.
The following is a practice activity. Have students focus on two women from the Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the United States. They may choose any two women; however, one should be from the past and the other should still be alive. The women should have something in common (i.e., profession, beliefs, etc.). Have students read the passages about both women and focus on the following:
- Why do you think these women are mentioned in the encyclopedia? Why are they famous?
- What was happening in the world when they were alive?
- How did people treat women during this time? How were these women treated?
- How did these individuals feel about the way women were treated?
You may want to have students create a visual diagram (Venn diagram) to show the differences and similarities between the two women.
Discuss this activity as a class.
1. Put students in groups of three. Tell each group that they will be creating a talk show that will feature a discussion between two prominent women from the book Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the United States. The two women could be chosen from the Warm-up Activity. Or for a more focused activity, if you are studying a particular period in history you may want to assign the two women. If you leave the choices up to the students, just make sure each group agrees on the chosen pair.
2. Two students will play the parts of the women, and one student will be the talk-show host. Ask students to brainstorm interesting topics for these famous women to discuss. Reflect on the class's previous discussion during the Warm-up Activity. How would these famous figures respond to similar questions? The focus of the talk show will be about the role of women throughout the ages. Ask them to consider the following questions:
- What do these women have in common? What makes them different?
- Will they have the same beliefs? Are there certain topics that they will argue about?
3. Each group should write a script or outline for their talk show and then present it to the class. The script should include a series of questions to ask the significant guests. Students will take into consideration the point of view of each woman. They should think of a creative name for their talk show and a great catchphrase for the show's theme that indicates the focus of what they will be discussing (example: Courageous Women, Free Thinkers, or Artistic Souls).
4. You may want to have students record their interviews and play it for the class.
Other Nonfiction Books About Women and Their Accomplishments
Girls and Young Women Leading the Way: Twenty True Stories About Leadership by Frances A. Karnes, Suzanne M. Bean, Rosemary Wallner
Twenty examples of young girls taking leadership roles in their schools and their communities.
Girls & Young Women Inventing: Twenty True Stories About Inventors Plus How You Can Be One Yourself by Frances A. Karnes, Suzanne M. Bean, Rosemary Wallner
A focus on 20 young, creative, and determined inventors and the challenges they encountered.
Other Books by Sheila Keenan
Gods, Goddesses, and Monsters: An Encyclopedia of World Mythology
Frederick Douglass: Portrait of a Freedom Fighter